12/30/2002 12:00AM

Congaree will prep for Donn Cap in San Pasqual


ARCADIA, Calif. - Congaree, whose career was revived by a flashy victory in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, will run in Saturday's $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita.

Trainer Bob Baffert has the $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 22 as a target and said he did not want to wait more than two months between starts.

"If I want to go to the Donn Handicap, I need to get him a race," Baffert said.

Monday, Congaree worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds. Baffert was also impressed with Congaree's five-furlong breeze in 59.60 seconds on Christmas Eve.

Congaree will be a strong favorite in the San Pasqual, which is run over 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The 5-year-old Congaree is best known for his 3-year-old campaign, when he won the Wood Memorial and Swaps Stakes and finished third in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

As a 4-year-old, he won half of his six starts, but turned in his best performance in the Cigar Mile, which he won by 5 1/2 lengths.

"He's a different horse now," Baffert said. "He's filling out. He's a big son of a gun."

Jerry Bailey is booked to ride Congaree in the San Pasqual. Other probables include Cottage, Fleetstreet Dancer, Hot Market, Kudos, Nose the Trade, Oh Take, and Piensa Sonando.

Piensa Sonando, Fleetstreet Dancer, and Nose the Trade were the first three finishers of the Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 14.

The San Pasqual is the richest race of the week at Santa Anita. There are six stakes from Wednesday through Sunday, including two on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's supporting feature is the $100,000 Pro or Con Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares over a mile on turf. Nicole's Pursuit, the winner of the California Cup Distance Handicap on Nov. 2, leads the field.

Sunday's program includes the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and the $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap for California-breds on the hillside turf course.

Atlantic Ocean, a two-time stakes winner at 2, leads the Santa Ysabel field.

In the Sensational Star, Macward will attempt to defend his title and end a six-race losing streak.

Solis sustains concussion

Jockey Alex Solis suffered a mild concussion in a spill on Saturday that left him hospitalized for observation on Saturday night.

In the race following his winning ride aboard Got Koko in the La Brea Stakes, Solis fell heavily when Most Likely broke down in early stretch of an allowance race on turf. Solis was thrown in front of the horse, who rolled over the jockey.

After spending several minutes receiving treatment on the track, he walked into the ambulance and was transported to the track's first aid department.

He later went to Arcadia Methodist for precautionary X-rays and an MRI, all of which were negative.

Solis's agent, Scotty McClellan, spoke with Solis in the first aid room and said the jockey was dazed.

"I think it knocked him out," McClellan said. "He looked at me and said, 'What happened?' I thought he was kidding."

Solis did not ride Sunday and his participation in Tuesday's card was questionable as of Sunday. He is booked to ride only two mounts on Wednesday - Academy Spy in the fifth race and Kona Gold in the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap.

"It's a miracle he wasn't seriously hurt," McClellan said.

Bruce Headley trained Most Likely and said it was the first time that he had a horse suffer a catastrophic injury in a race since he began training in 1959.

"That's the first I had to break a leg off and drop," he said.

The death of Most Likely overshadowed the upset win by Got Koko in the La Brea. Got Koko had won a minor stakes at Del Mar in September, but was unplaced in a division of the Ramser Handicap on turf in October in her most recent start before Saturday.

Headley said Got Koko will continue through the La Canada series. The La Brea was the first leg, and is followed by the $150,000 El Encino Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 19 and the $200,000 La Canada Sakes over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 8.

Last year, the Headley-trained Royally Chosen finished second in the La Brea and El Encino stakes. She is currently at Old English Rancho in Fresno, recovering from an injury.

"They recommended eight months and I said 12 months," Headley said. "I didn't want to bring her back in a short period of time. If it was a career-ending injury she would be a broodmare."

Frankel gets two good imports

Two leading South American fillies are joining Bobby Frankel's stable.

Miss Terrible, the winner of seven consecutive Group 1 races in 2002, cleared quarantine on Saturday. A 4-year-old, Miss Terrible is not expected to start during the current Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, allowing time for her to acclimate to the Northern Hemisphere.

The winner of the Argentine filly Triple Crown, Miss Terrible was recently acquired by Chip and Carol Hammersmith of Elburn, Ill. Bloodstock agent Luis Bouza negotiated the deal.

Frankel also will train Wild Spirit, who was recently second in the Chilean St. Leger. A 4-year-old filly, Wild Spirit won two Group 1 races in 2002. Had she won the St. Leger she would have earned a $400,000 bonus for a sweep of three major races.

Losses by You, Decarchy, and Blue Steller over the weekend left Frankel needing $102,418 in earnings on Tuesday to surpass D. Wayne Lukas's 1988 record for single-season earnings by a trainer of $17,842,358. Frankel had two horses entered for Tuesday and both needed to win - Sumitas in the fifth race, a $70,000 allowance race, and Rolly Polly in the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap.

Pincay gives himself birthday gift

Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. celebrated his 56th birthday on Sunday by riding the winner of the first race. Later, his fellow riders shoved Pincay's face into a cake following the fifth race.

Pincay won the first race on My Friend Lumpy, his first victory of the meeting and the 9,480th of his career.

"I'm excited, not because it's my birthday, but because I was winning my first race of the meeting," Pincay said.

Following the fifth race, Pincay's family and fellow jockeys surrounded him the winner's circle for a presentation. At the end of the ceremony, several of the riders pushed Pincay into the cake, leaving him with a face full of frosting.

Vergara sits for five days

Jockey Octavio Vergara has been given a five-day suspension for causing interference in the eighth race last Friday.

Vergara rode Mr. Roadway to a second-place finish. While Mr. Roadway was not disqualified, Vergara was cited for "altering course without sufficient clearance." The suspension begins Friday and runs through Jan. 9.